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William James

1842-1910. American philosopher and psychologist, who developed the philosophy of pragmatism.

Books by William James

Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.

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I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of pride.

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If you want a trait, act as if you already have the trait.

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Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.

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There is a voice inside which speaks and says: 'This is the real me!'

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We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.

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The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

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A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.

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We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.

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Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.

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